This is an excerpt from the book ‘Disrupt and Conquer: How TTK Prestige Became a Billion-Dollar Company’ by Sandhya Mendonca and T.T. Jagannathan. T.T. Jagannathan is the chairman of the TTK Group. Sandhya Mendonca is a journalist-turned-media entrepreneur and founder of Raintree Media.
This book takes us through the journey of this extraordinary company – TTK Prestige, which fought off bankruptcy and rose like a phoenix to become a highly profitable, successful entity. What makes this story all the more startling is that T.T. Jagannathan is an accidental and reluctant businessman. He came into the profession very unexpectedly, and without any preparation, with neither an MBA nor having ever worked in the family business before having its very survival entrusted to him.
TTK Prestige Limited was incorporated as a private limited company on 22 October 1955, in Madras as TT Private Limited. It became a public limited company on 15 June 1988 with a market cap that exceeds Rs 9400 crore($1.4 Billion), it is one of the top 500 listed entities in India. However, it is intriguing to note that the pioneer of its development and growth, T.T.Jaggannathan, a mechanical engineer had no knowledge about business whatsoever.
This excerpt throws light on a few lessons that business schools would never teach you. This simple advice will certainly help any individual in starting a business:
- At first glance, the prospect of starting a business might initially come across as daunting to most but this becomes redundant the minute you realize and commit to the why of it. T.T. Jaggannathan is as committed to his parents as it could get. This strong sense of responsibility and commitment to family played a major role in his constructive decisions that led the company from its historic debt-ridden turnaround to profit.
- Business involves a lot of common sense which is easier said than done. You must not be afraid to apply your common sense and acumen. The Biggest Innovation of TTK limited has been the acclaimed pressure cooker’s GRS(Gasket Release System) which was nothing more than a hole in the lid that saved the company from bankruptcy. ‘The simpler an innervation, the greater its elegance’. A keen eye for detail and of course the most uncommon trait of all, common sense is a necessity!
- In business, one should not look at the bigger picture but rather have an eye for detail. While it is important to have a target goal in mind, focusing too much on it marks room for error on the current objective, however, when you take care of the smaller picture or the task at hand efficiently, the big picture will look after itself.
- The process of disruption is definitely a force to be reckoned with and has been the Key characteristic of TTK group structure. It disrupts markets and the nature of its own businesses thereby providing a new perspective in dealing with problems and coming up with solutions. The art of Disruption is at the crux of this companies motto. Simply stated going into a market that has a scope for further growth and innovation requires disruption.
- Just having a great prospective idea isn’t enough to start a business as the art of implementation has to be extensively monitored. You have to be deeply involved from the start devoting effort, time and consistency.
- This is not a one man show, the whole idea of business is growing and helping others achieve so together. You have to muster the strength to collect and put faith in the right people who always have the businesses best interest at heart. At the end, you can never go wrong with having different perspectives and solutions to problems that seem unsolvable.
- Brutus says in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune’. Moving with the ebbs and flows of the tide, the TTK Group latched on to each and every opportunity coming their way either by accident or good fortune. A little luck never hurts, so show up each day – Give your best effort and take always start by putting one leg in front of the other.
With invaluable business lessons, decades of experience and innovation distilled in pages, Disrupt and Conquer is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders.